Elections for the council are less than a week away with a single seat in all the borough’s wards up for grabs in the poll.

Residents are voting to elect a representative in each of the borough’s 17 wards on polling day on Thursday, May 4.

A total of 72 candidates are standing for councillor positions in each of the wards which make up the town.

Each councillor is elected for a four-year term of office.

Candidates from the Conservatives, Labour and Greens will contest every ward.

The Liberal Democrats will be fighting to win in eight wards while Radcliffe First are fielding three candidates.

They are joined by two English Democrats candidates and a single Communist Party contender. Six independents are standing and there is a single candidate for the Reform Party.

In Radcliffe last year there was a seismic shift in the "all out" elections, with voters there re-writing the electoral map by electing eight Radcliffe First party representatives out of the nine councillors in the town.


Radcliffe town centre

Radcliffe town centre


Both the controlling group Labour, who hold a comfortable majority at the town hall and the Conservatives will be hoping to make progress with the electorate of Radcliffe, while Radcliffe First will be trying to maintain their dominance in terms of councillor numbers.

Radcliffe is earmarked for major redevelopment with a civic hub and leisure centre planned for the town centre and improvements to the market planned.


Radcliffe Market is set to be improved under plans

Radcliffe Market is set to be improved under plans


Also on the horizon, is a long awaited and much delayed new high school for the town.

Other issues pertinent to the area include green belt development and the upkeep of roads and pavements.

We visited Radcliffe town centre to ask voters what their priorities were and which party they would be supporting next week.

It’s safe to say that Sheila Green has seen the full gamut of changes to Radcliffe town centre in her 87 years as a resident of the town.


Sheila Green, 87, has lived in Radcliffe all her life

Sheila Green, 87, has lived in Radcliffe all her life


The former market stall assistant from the Stand Lane area still regularly shops at her former workplace in the town but she says she is "saddened" by the town’s decline as a retail destination.

She said: “I know some of it’s going to be developed but to look at parts of the town centre like the square just round the corner and it’s sad to see. “There is an air of decay at the moment.

"I know I’m getting on but I remember when Radcliffe was bustling. There were lots of shops.

“I’m not sure what the plans for new town buildings will do for the place as it has declined so much over the decades.

“There’s nothing for older folk.

“I’ve voted Radcliffe First in the past but this time I think I’ll be going back to Labour.”


Radcliffe town centre

Radcliffe town centre


College student Josh Irvine, 19, said he would be voting for the first time next week.

He said: “I’ve not decided who I’ll vote for yet but I think it’s important to vote.

“I’m concerned about being able to afford property or being able to rent when I want to get my own place and I would also like the council to be more active on green issues as small things can have an impact.”

James Greenhalgh, 39, said that development on the green belt, for which there are some large scale plans in the offing in Bury, was the most pressing issue for the council.

He said: “I’ve seen plans to build thousands of homes around Elton reservoir which is a country area thousands of people from Radcliffe and Bury use.

“It appals me that the area could be lost- to housing.

“I know the Radcliffe First people oppose those plans so i’ll be voting for them.”

Town centre improvement is the main issue for 75-year-olds Carole Horne and her husband Ian.


Ian and Carole Horne out shopping at Radcliffe Market

Ian and Carole Horne out shopping at Radcliffe Market


Carole said: “You used to be able to buy everything in Radcliffe but now it’s not the same. You have to travel out for most things.

“Surely getting more shops into the town centre is the only way for it to pick up.”

Ian said: “I’ll be voting Radcliffe First mainly for the reasons that they are not the national parties.

“They are not politicians so have more of an idea of what’s needed in Radcliffe.”

Bury Times: Radcliffe town centreRadcliffe town centre (Image: LDRS)

Phil Rainford, 53, lives on the Bolton Road estate in the town.

He said: “I won’t be voting for any of them, it’s not for me.

“The only time I’ve voted in recent times is to get us out of the European Union as I wanted the country to be more self reliant and get back to the days when we manufactured goods here and looked after ourselves.”


Phil Rainford said he would not be voting in the upcoming elections

Phil Rainford said he would not be voting in the upcoming elections


All the candidates for Radcliffe’s three wards are listed below:

Radcliffe East

Bernstein, Carol (CON)

McGill, Sally-Ann (LAB)

Sharples, Heather Jane (GRN)

Walsh, Mary (RAD FIRST)

Radcliffe North and Ainsworth

Jameson, Richard Neil (LAB)

Kirkley, Gary Joseph (GRN)

Lancaster, Jo (CON)

Simpson, Ken (RAD FIRST)

Radcliffe West

Balfour, Shirley (CON)

Harcup, Josh (LAB)

Heath, Mary Christine (GRN)

Islam, Kamran (LIB)

Smith, Mike (RAD FIRST)